Look Out Idaho Here I come!

A cherry tomato and a beefsteak tomato, showin...

Image via Wikipedia

The devil made me do it. Earlier this summer I left a potato on the counter top too long. I had it there waiting to use it with a dinner.

One day I looked at it and it had all these green sprouts protruding from the eyes. The great experiment began. My mother taught me that if you plant the sprouting eye of a potato it will grow into a plant and produce more potatoes. Why not? I was late in getting my vegetable garden started, and potatoes are a vegetable, right? I carefully cut the sprouting eyes out of the Idaho potato and planted them, five in all.

Sure enough, within a few days five green sprouts broke through the soil. I let them be. I paid more attention to the three varieties of tomatoes I  planted. Of the three, the biggest crop came from the grape size tomato plant. The smallest crop came from Beefsteak, and the third, also called beef-something produced fruit that wouldn’t turn red on the vine.  Last year, the grape tomatoes were sweet and flavorful. This year they were acidic and sour. The fruit on the beef-something distorted and resembled Siamese twins joined at the chest. I wrote a Halloween post about one of the beef-somethings called Graden Creature. Once a beef-something turned red it was tasty, but it required a lot of  trimming of the stem and from the juncture and the distorted twin top.

Visions of my Grampa Jim ran through my mind all summer as I waited for the potato beetle to come and devastate the five plants. Grampa Jim invented the green movement of organic gardening. His method of eliminating the potato beetle was to tour the rows and pick the bugs off the plants by hand. He flicked them into a coffee can with kerosene. Often, when I scoured the shed for nails and tools, I’d look into a coffee can only to find an inch of kerosene in the bottom and a layer of bugs floating on the top. He didn’t waste his cans or kerosene either.

Miraculously the potato bug didn’t arrive in my tiny garden. Last week, during garden cleaning, I finally harvested the potato crop. My heart raced with excitement as I dug for the tubers. Success, I found several under the first plant. These potatoes have a way to go to compete with the Idaho they sprouted from, but it is a start. Look out Idaho, Look out Maine, Grumpa Joe is adding potatoes to his crop.

The 2011 crop

The largest is three inches long, the smallest is the size of a large marble

Burning Gas-Calgary

For many years the Calgary Stampede has stewed in the back of my mind. As a young man I dreamed of attending the event. It has not happened yet, and probably never will. My vision of Calgary has been of the Stampede. A small town with a big rodeo stadium and a large field campground is what I see when I think of Calgary.

Grandma Peggy and I drove west out of Yellowstone Park into Idaho. We followed US-191 northward. The road is a narrow two lane highway which winds through the mountains bordering Wyoming and Idaho into Montana.  The locals have a practice of placing a cross on the site of any accident that results in death. White crosses fill the shoulders of both sides of the pavement. I lost count at fifty-five crosses. The most was seven at one site. As scenic as this road is, I wanted to get off as quickly as possible. The odds of an accident on this stretch were too high for me.

We finally pulled into Belgrade, Montana to spend the night. Our plan was to drive to Banff, Alberta, Canada the next day. I checked our reservations for the hotel and realized that I missed two days during planning. In addition to that, I under estimated the drive; the distance between Belgrade and Banff was further than I could drive in daylight.  The plan changed and we decided to spend some time in Calgary. Luckily, I found a hotel in downtown Calgary, and reserved two nights. I still envisioned Calgary as a small town with a motel on each end of town.

Chuckwagon racing at the 2009 Calgary Stampede.

Image via Wikipedia

Peggy and I arrived in Calgary the following evening as the sun set. The scope and beauty of the city amazed me. It rivals Chicago in the size of its central business district. There is a huge difference, however, the buildings in Chicago are much taller.

We walked to the historic area from our hotel. What we found was totally charming. The town has mixed the old with contemporary architecture, and created a walking mall out of the street passing through the shopping district. The mall has banks, municipal buildings, shops, monuments, and sidewalk cafe’s. Intermixed between are small parks filled with beautiful flowers, and many life-size sculptures.

The Calgary Stampede is a huge event, but is held in a special arena the size of a fairground. People from all over the world attend the event. Thankfully, the Stampede passed before we arrived. Had we coincided, getting a hotel would have been impossible.

After visiting Calgary, I want to attend the Stampede more than ever before.

My photos of the city tour are below:

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Michael Moore Would Be Proud

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

Subject: Fw: President O visit to Bozeman

 This is from a woman who lives in Bozeman, Montana..  Thought you would be interested in the truth about how his visits are orchestrated. Her husband is a former Navy pilot and Delta Airlines captain.

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     By now you have probably heard that President Obama came to Montana last Friday. However, there are many things that the major news has not covered. I feel that since Bill and I live here and we were at the airport on Friday I should share some facts with you. Whatever you decide to do with the information is up to you. If you chose to share this email with others I do ask that you DELETE my email address before you forward this on.

      On Wednesday, August 5th it was announced locally that the President would be coming here. There are many groups here that are against his healthcare and huge spending so those groups began talking and deciding on what they were going to do. The White House would not release ANY details other than the date.

     On about Tuesday Bill found out that they would be holding the “Town Hall” at the airport. (This is only because Bill knows EVERYONE at the airport) Our airport is actually located outside of Belgrade (tiny town) in a very remote location. Nothing is around there. They chose to use a hangar that is the most remotely located hangar.. You could not pick a more remote location, and you can not get to it easily. It is totally secluded from the public.

     FYI: We have many areas in Belgrade and Bozeman which could have held a large amount of folks with sufficient parking. (gymnasiums/auditoriums). All of which have chairs and tables, and would not have to be SHIPPED IN!! $$$$$

     During the week, cargo by the TONS was being shipped in constantly. Airport employees could not believe how it just kept coming. Though it was our President coming several expressed how excessive it was, especially during a recession.  $$$$$    

      Late Tuesday/early Wednesday the 12th,  they said that tickets would be handed out on Thursday 9am at two locations and the president would be arriving around 12:30 Friday.

      Thursday morning about 600 tickets were passed out. However, 1500 were printed at a Local printing shop per White House request. Hmmmm……900 tickets just DISAPPEARED.

     This same morning someone called into the radio from the local UPS branch and said that THOUSANDS of Dollars of Lobster were shipped in for Obama. Montana has some of the best beef in the nation!!! And it would have been really wonderful to help out the local economy. Anyone heard of the Recession?? Just think…with all of the traveling the White House is doing. $$$$$ One can only imagine what else we are paying for.

      On Friday Bill and I got out to the airport about 10:45am. The groups that wanted to protest Obama’s spending and healthcare had gotten a permit to protest and that area was roped off. But that was not to be. A large bus carrying SEIU (Service Employees International Union) members drove up onto the area (illegal)and unloaded right there. It was quite a commotion and there were specifically 2 SEIU men trying to make trouble and start a fight. Police did get involved and arrested the one man but they said they did not have the manpower to remove the SEIU crowd.  

     The SEIU crowd was very organized and young. About 99% were under the age of 30 and they were not locals! They had bullhorns and PROFESSIONALLY made signs. Some even wore preprinted T-shirts. Oh, and Planned Parenthood folks were with them…..professing abortion rights with their T-shirts and preprinted signs.  (BTW, all these folks did have a permit to protest in ANOTHER area)

      Those against healthcare/spending moved away from the SEIU crowd to avoid confrontation. They were orderly and respectful. Even though SEIU kept coming over and walking through, continuing to be very intimidating and aggressive at the direction of the one SEIU man.

      So we had Montana folks from ALL OVER the state with their homemade signs and their DOGS with homemade signs. We had cowboys, nurses, doctors you name it. There was even a guy from Texas who had been driving through. He found out about the occasion, went to the store, made a sign, and came to protest.

      If you are wondering about the press…..Well, all of the major networks were over by that remote hangar I mentioned. They were conveniently parked on the other side of the buildings FAR away. None of these crowds were even visible to them. I have my doubts that they knew anything about the crowds.

     We did have some local news media around us from this state and Idaho. Speaking of the local media…they were invited. However, all questions were to be turned into the White House in advance of the event. Wouldn’t want anyone to have to think off the top of their head.

      It was very obvious that it was meant to be totally controlled by the White House. Everything was orchestrated down to the last detail to make it appear that Montana is just crazy for Obama and government healthcare. Even those people that talked about their insurance woes……..the White House called our local HRDC (Human Resource and Development Committee) and asked for names. Then the White House asked those folks to come. Smoke and mirrors…EVERYTHING was staged!!!!!!!!!!! 

      I am very dismayed about what I learned about our current White House. The amount of control and manipulation was unbelievable. I felt I was not living in the United States of America, more like the USSR!! I was physically nauseous. Bill and I have been around when Presidents or Heads of State visit. It has NEVER been like this. I am truly very frightened for our country. America needs your prayers and your voices. If you care about our country please get involved. Know the issues. And let Congress hear your voices again and again!! If they are willing to put forth so much effort to BULLY a small town one can only imagine what is going on in Washington DC. Scary!!   

 Kathy

Bozeman, Montana

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Why is it that I believe every word she wrote? It’s my opinion that Obama did not go to Bozeman for a Town Hall meeting. He could give a rats ass about what the people of Bozeman think. He needed an excuse to take his family to see Yellowstone on the tax payer. The theatrics of these events is overwhelming, but presidential in scope.  The man has no shame when it comes to spending other people’s money.

 

  To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.   

Thomas Jefferson

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